Najib Tun Razak, Chua Soi Lek, Ali Rustam, M Saravanan and Dr Mahathir should stop racializing the 13th General Election results

BN leaders should be ashamed of themselves for continuing to racialize the GE13 election results. This is thoroughly unbecoming of their status as national leaders and statesmen. Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak continues to irresponsibly racialize the GE13 results when he refused to condemn the reprehensible and thoroughly disgusting headline of Utusan Malaysia yesterday on the 7th of May which read “Apa Lagi Cina Mahu?” (What more do the Chinese want?). Instead, his response which alluded that the Chinese papers were writing the same thing makes a mockery of his election night statement that he wanted to embark on a program of national reconciliation.

Dr Chua Soi Lek too has refused to apologize for making the remark that the country is now on a ‘two-race’ system. This is pure stupidity since 50 out of the 89 Pakatan MPs (or 56%) are non-Chinese (39 Malay, 10 Indian, 1 Kadazan).

Ali Rustam should also offer his profuse apologies to not just the Chinese voters in the constituency of Bukit Katil but also the Malay voters, who make up 53% of the voters in this constituency, and also the Indian voters, who make up 6% of the voters in this constituency for exercising their democratic right to choose their candidate of preference, which happens to be his opponent, Shamsul Iskandar, from PKR.

M Saravanan should also apologize for agreeing with Utusan Malaysia and with Ali Rustam by saying that the Chinese were ungrateful since I am sure that many of the 12743 voters who voted for his opponent (or 38% of the total vote) included Malay and Indian voters.

Do both of these leaders also mean to say that all those who voted against the BN, including almost half of the voters in the 95% majority state of Terengganu, are also ‘ungrateful’ voters?

The worst culprit of this race baiting is none other than Dr. Mahathir himself who continues to outdo his younger self in polarizing and dividing the country when he accused the Malaysian Chinese community of ‘rejecting the hand of friendship’ extended by the Malays. This is an absolute lie and irresponsible accusation especially since Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan and Iban supporters of Pakatan Rakyat worked hand in hand in many of the mixed constituencies, without access to the ample funds available to the BN, all of them campaigning based on the Politics of Hope propagated by Pakatan Rakyat instead of the Politics of Fear propagated by Barisan Nasional. Indeed, the fact that DAP was willing to use the logo of PAS to contest in the 13th GE received widespread support among both the membership and supporters of both parties showing that Pakatan is genuine about its intentions to bridge racial and religious divides compared to the BN.

Dr. M even goes to the extent of reimagining the ethnic composition of the state of Selangor by calling it a Chinese majority state when the statistics clearly show that the Malay voters form the largest group of voters (50%) in the state compared to the Chinese (34%), Indians (15%) and others (2%). Is Dr. Mahathir accusing anyone and everyone who voted against the BN in the 13th General Election of being Chinese?

I call upon all of the BN leaders named above to follow the lead of Saifuddin Abdullah, who lose in the Malay majority seat of Temerloh, but did not agree with the Utusan headlines and did not blame anyone for his defeat. They should follow his example of condemning the Utusan headline.

Finally, these leaders should instead look into the many problems which occurred during the 13th general election which have made Malaysia the center of negative attention in the global media. Serious allegations and reports have been made including the not so indelible indelible ink, the accusations of foreigners being bussed to certain polling stations, the accusations of many voters who were not registered but found themselves on the electoral roll and many others. The BN leaders should focus on issues pertaining to electoral reform, as proposed by Bersih 2.0 and supported Malaysians across the board regardless of race, religion, language and background.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Gelang Patah